Video: NBC4 Read Today
Columbus Metropolitan Library's Ready to Read Corps Program Leader Abby Kiracofe tells NBC 4's Mikaela Hunt about our first-of-its-kind initiative that takes our Ready to Read program out of the library and into communities to prepare kids for kindergarten.
Location: Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, Ohio
Contact: Dragana Saas, Ready to Read Program Leader
Columbus Metropolitan Library launched Ready to Read Corps as a first-of-its-kind initiative that takes the work of the library out of its branches and into the community. Our Ready to Read Corps now encompasses 13 community-based team members and a dedicated bookmobile focused on six communities: Weinland Park/Parsons, Linden, Hilltop, Northland, Groveport and Whitehall.
The primary focus is to seek out parents and caregivers of children ages 0 to 5 to conduct training sessions that focus on pre-reading skills necessary for early literacy and kindergarten readiness. They help parents understand that they are their child’s first teacher and that there are things they can do with their child every day that will make a significant impact on their kindergarten readiness.
The Ready to Read Corps works with WIC offices, food pantries, churches, hospitals and benefits offices to engage parents and caregivers in places they already visit. During trainings, parents and caregivers receive a kit to take home that includes board books, finger puppets, crayons and literature about pre-reading skills.
Our work with parents centers on establishing a connection with a parent while informing them about kindergarten expectations and sharing ideas and developmentally appropriate early literacy practices to do with their child. Our desired outcome is behavior change where parents will employ some of the practices we shared, and greater awareness of what children need to know for school. Since we are a library program, we also want parents to use the library as a support to get their child ready for kindergarten.
We’ve been in the field for three years now, and in those three years we tried quite a few approaches to reach parents/caregivers of children 0-5 and achieve the greatest impact.
Fall 2009 - December 2011
25,297 Quality Interactions
7,859 Literacy Kits distributed
6,366 Evaluations completed
Non Traditional Locations include: organizations where there is Waiting Room Time such as a Food Pantry, Primary Care Clinic, Women’s Care Center, Free Store, and Opportunity Center.
The Team Uses this Time to Meet with Parents and Children, Provide our Ready to Read Kits, Check Out Books and Issue Library Cards.
How It Works and the Forms Used
Post Workshop Evaluation Sheet
This form captures demographic information about the families.
- Ready to Read Evaluation PWES - English
- Ready to Read Evaluation PWES - Spanish
Ready to Read Mini Kit 5 Practices
This form corresponds with Ohio's Kindergarten Readiness Assessment-Literacy (KRA-L) with ECRR2 -- reading, writing, singing, playing, talking -- and includes suggested ways of using mini-kit materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers
Ready to Read Mini Kit Assessment
These are Pre- and Post-assessment forms that the parent completes regarding the parent's literacy knowledge and interactions with the child.
Ready to Read Partnership Evaluation
Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs recently completed the first evaluation of the Ready to Read Corps’ work, spanning the time period from November 2009 through the end of December 2011. This document includes a summary of the key findings of the phase I evaluation.
Ready to Read Staff Observation Sheet
This form was developed to maintain consistency across our department on important elements of each interaction.
Ready to Read Walk-In Training Schedule
Ready to Read Literacy Kit Contents
Target Audience: Low-income families with children from 0 to 5
Demographics of Ready to Read Participants
The Ready to Read Corps works with WIC offices, food pantries, churches, hospitals and benefits offices to engage parents and caregivers in places they already visit.
Sustained effort over time
Behavioral change over time
Preliminary Longitudinal Study
Of those participants responding that they had taken part in the literacy activities in the first phone call, the number who again responded that they had taken part in these same activities in the second phone call was calculated.
Partnerships with other organizations
Source: Ready to Read Partnership Evaluation
To date, partnerships have been formed with 88 community agencies or programs.
Kindergarten Readiness Assessment-Literacy is the Ohio Department of Education’s tool to help teachers identify early reading skills and kindergarten readiness. Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Goal is 90% kindergarten readiness by 2020.
Source: Ready to Read Partnership Evaluation
Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs recently completed the first evaluation of the Ready to Read Corps’ work, spanning the time period from November 2009 through the end of December 2011.
Summary of the key findings of the phase I evaluation:
Responding to community needs
Ready to Read also schedules personalized in-home visits. Because some communities, for example, Latino and Somali, feel more comfortable talking about Ready to Read among friends at a home, Ready to Read Training home parties can be scheduled.
The Ready to Read Corps staff includes members who are:
Works through existing infrastructures
The Ready to Read Corps works with WIC offices, food pantries, churches, hospitals and benefits offices to engage parents and caregivers in places they already visit. They visit organizations where the parents and caregivers will already have waiting room time such as a food pantry, primary care clinic, Women’s Care Center, Free Store, and Opportunity Center.